RICKY LEHR SWORN IN AS SERGEANT
Detective RICKY LEHR was sworn in as the newest Sergeant for the El Paso de Robles Police Department on Oct. 2. Chief Burton began by commenting on Ricky’s humbleness, dedication to the positions he’s held and how well he represents the whole department. City Manager, Tom Frutchy, did the actual swearing-in and capped it off by leading a loud and long ovation and the words, “We are very excited to have you in this new role in which, when you retire, you’ll have helped make Paso better and more safe than it was when you began your career.”
Ricky was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. As a high-schooler, he was deep into sports and played varsity football, basketball and baseball. He lettered in all three and thus was in the thick of the teams. His parents had a place at “The Lake” and, as they vacationed there often, those trips unknowingly shaped Ricky’s fondness for the Central Coast.
When High School was finished, Ricky decided to serve – and serve he did! As an eighteen year-old, Ricky enlisted in the Marine Corps and for eight years, he did us proud! Stationed in Japan, Hawaii, San Diego and other locations across America, Ricky got out as a Sergeant. You can just tell he was a Marine; poised, shoulders back, erect, look-ya-in-the-eye and, he even called me “sir.” Of course I’m three times his age so maybe he was afraid I’d croak in the interviewing room!
His active duty ended in 2004, and by then Ricky knew he wanted to be a policeman. His father was an investigator in law enforcement and Ricky had heard enough about the work that he liked the feel of what his career could be. As he looked around, the hoards of people in the greater LA area were a turn-off. However “that Central Coast area” seemed just perfect. It had that innate draw. Boy, how many times have we heard that! His folks were relocating to the area so that helped. Ricky applied all over the county and lo and behold, Chief Dennis Cassidy (at that time) just happened to have an opening. He took a chance on the former-Marine and it paid off. Mr. Lehr attended Allen Hancock’s Police Academy, graduated of course, and was sworn in as a patrolman for the Paso PD. He reported to (then) Sergeants Tim Murphy and Ty Lewis who in turn reported to Lt. Robert Burton. My, times have changed; both of those Sergeants are now Lieutenants and Mr. Burton is the Police Chief! They’re all really good guys by the way!
Eight years on patrol was plenty and Ricky was promoted to General Detective – it’s a squad of two with Nick Bier-Stanberry as the other detective. Earlier this year, Sergeant Clint Winter decided to retire after 30 years on the job. The opening for a replacement was posted and there was a fair number of certainly well-qualified applicants who applied for the position that was awarded to Ricky.
Currently we have 33 sworn officers, two K-9 dogs, one patrol motorcycle and three Community Service officers. Applications are being taken to fill the now-vacated detective position.
Ricky met his wife (a SLO gal) at Hancock. They and their four children live in a lovely rural setting outside city-limits. Ricky says it’s a Blessing to be here as a part of this community and he wasted no time in finishing that thought with the words, “This is our forever home!”
Sergeant Lehr, congratulations on the promotion! Thank you for what you do for us Roblans. Keep well and stay safe!